After upcoming actor Payal Ghosh claimed to have been sexually harassed by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap in 2014, the latter put out a series of tweets in Hindi, describing the allegations as "baseless" and an attempt to "silence" him. On Saturday, Ghosh tweeted that the 'Gangs of Wasseypur' director had behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner with her. She had tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in her tweet, requesting him to take action against Kashyap. "@anuragkashyap72 has forced himself on me and extremely badly. @PMOIndia @narendramodi ji, kindly take action and let the country see the demon behind this creative guy. I am aware that it can harm me and my security is at risk. Please help!" Ghosh wrote.
In a video released to ABN Telugu, Ghosh claimed the incident had occurred in 2014-2015.
The actor, who made her Hindi debut with Rishi Kapoor-Paresh Rawal starrer "Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi" in 2017, also claimed that Kashyap had bragged about his connection with Amitabh Bachchan and about other female artistes with whom he had been intimate.
She had made a similar revelation to IANS. "I was molested by a very famous director. The director told me that girls he works with 'have a gala time' with him. The circumstances created at that moment were very embarrassing," revealing it was Anurag Kashyap.
When asked why she hadn't spoken up when the MeToo movement was at its peak, she said: "I tried to open up about it several times, but my family, my brother, manager, close friends and others from the industry asked me to be silent to avoid any problem in the future. All of them asked me to stay quiet if I wanted a career in this industry. 'Your career will get ruined', 'No one will work with you' were some of the things they said to me. I wanted to talk about it, but I was silenced. On why she had chosen this point of time to come out, Payal claimed: "Because it is very important to speak up about these issues, and truth should come forward. We should talk about it so that people like him don't abuse their position of power."
The 48-year-old director has been vocal about the criticism and vilification of Bollywood by celebrities and trolls. "Such a long time was taken to shut me up, never mind. (But) while shutting me up, you lied so much that you dragged other women also in it. Please maintain some dignity madam. All I will say is that all your allegations are baseless," Kashyap tweeted.
Refuting her claims, Kashyap said the video was a testimony of "how much truth and false" there is.
"While placing allegations against me, you dragged my artistes and Bachchan family... Madam, I have been married twice, if that's a crime, then I admit to it. I also admit that I have loved a lot, whether it's my first wife or second.
"Any lover or all those female actors with whom I've worked or the team of all those girls and women that have been working with me or all those women I've met in private or in public. I neither behaved like this nor do I tolerate such a behaviour at any cost. Rest we will see what happens," he added.
Chairperson of the National Commission for Women Rekha Sharma assured Ghosh that the NCW would take cognisance of the case. "You may send me the detailed complaint at firstname.lastname@example.org and @NCWIndia will look into it. @iampayalghosh," Sharma tweeted.
After budding actress Payal Ghosh accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexual harassment, Taapsee Pannu lent her support to the latter. On Sunday, Taapsee took to her Instagram account and called Kashyap one of the "biggest" feminists.
"For you, my friend, are the biggest feminist I know. See you on the sets soon of yet another piece of art that shows how powerful and significant women are in the world you create," Taapsee, who worked with Kashyap in "Manmarziyaan", wrote.
However, actor Kangana Ranaut spoke up in support of Ghosh, putting out a series of tweets on her official handle, Kangana Ranaut@KanganaTeam. "#MeToo has been a big failure in Bullywood, because most rapists and harassers were liberals only so they killed the movement, for sure #PayalGhosh will be humiliated and silenced like all other victims but my heart goes out to her. We deserve a better society."
"Anurag is very much capable of doing what #PayalGhosh suggesting, he cheated on all his partners, self admittedly has never been monogamous. Phantomwas full of womanisers many #MeToo accused, I supported those victims before also and librals started smear campaigns against me," she commiserated.